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The energy transition will place new and significant demands on the distribution network, which is a means through which other crucial vectors such as transport, heat and industry will decarbonise. At ever growing volumes, customers are choosing to adopt electric vehicles and heat pumps placing demands on our networks for which they were not designed to host.

Traditionally, NIE Networks would respond to this through network expansion, replacing existing assets with those of greater capacity and building out new network infrastructure to manage growth in demand, generation and more complex power flows. An alternative to this is to leverage the flexibility customers have in how they generate and consume electricity. Using Flexibility services involves engaging customers to adjust their consumption and/or generation at a time and direction that reduces stress on the network, avoiding or deferring the need for costly and irreversible network reinforcement. Through our RP6 innovation project, FLEX (formerly called Demand Side Response), the viability of utilising Flexibility Services within Northern Ireland has been demonstrated.

As part of our licence conditions (Condition 19), NIE Networks is required to prepare a document that sets out the principles and criterion we will follow in establishing procurement processes and procedures in relation to procuring System Support Services (Flexibility).

Following a consultation period, our Procurement Statement was approved by the Utility Regulator and is published here for use.

View Document

For all other queries please contact

For further information regarding our FLEX innovation project please visit the link below. 


To learn more about the future role of Flexibility Services please visit the link below.

RP7 Business Plan